Thread Number: 73481  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
Frigidaire Unimatic only fills with hot water
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Post# 970408   11/28/2017 at 15:31 (351 days old) by JesseD (Saint Marys, Pennsylvania)        

I recently put my wo-65-2 into service. It will only fill with hot water even when it is set on warm. I am not sure what is wrong. No cold is entering at all.

Post# 970410 , Reply# 1   11/28/2017 at 15:40 (351 days old) by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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Sounds like the thermostatic water valve has given up - this is a common failure in machines of this age, alas.

On mine, a Maytag 3-solenoid valve was substituted so that the warm setting would work correctly. Unfortunately these valves are as hard to find as the original thermostatic ones!

A modern valve can be used, however the warm temperature setting will give a cold wash and rinsing will be in cold by default.

Post# 970414 , Reply# 2   11/28/2017 at 16:22 (351 days old) by Gyrafoam (Roanoke, VA)        

My WO-65-2 occasionally does the same thing-------when the basement cools down in the winter. Usually a couple of flicks of the switch does the trick.
If the valve has not been used for a long time. You might consider opening it up and cleaning it out. I use a toothbrush and some Sno-Bol to get rid of the mineral build up and rinse everything off good. Not good to allow acid to sit a long time. Some Lime-Away would do about the same thing.

Post# 970547 , Reply# 3   11/29/2017 at 07:40 (351 days old) by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        

combo52's profile picture

The thermostatic modulating valve in the inlet valve is stuck in one position, you could try to disassemble and get the piston and valve unstuck, but I would just put in a more modern valve so you could have the much more desirable cold rinses, keep in mind that if you are installing a newer style inlet valve you need to get one with a flow restrictor in the valve outlet so the timed fill will not overfill, it needs to restrict the fill to around 3 gallons per-minute.


John L.

Post# 970557 , Reply# 4   11/29/2017 at 08:39 (350 days old) by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

turquoisedude's profile picture

And if you can't find the right flow restrictor, a toilet shut-off valve can be used to reduce water flow into the washer.   It is not pretty to look at but the plumbing will be hidden in the back of the machine anyway...  LOL 

This 'solution' is in place and working for my 51 and 59 Frigidaire washers!

Post# 970711 , Reply# 5   11/29/2017 at 21:36 (350 days old) by JesseD (Saint Marys, Pennsylvania)        

How can I tell if the valve was not replaced some time ago? The water seems to fill the tub very quickly. I would also like to know what the default rinse temperature was.

How would I go about taking apart the valve to try to fix it?

Post# 970715 , Reply# 6   11/29/2017 at 22:20 (350 days old) by Unimatic1140 (Minneapolis)        

unimatic1140's profile picture
Jesse before you take the valve out of the machine do this and let us know what you find...

Turn both water faucets off. Then put the washer in wash fill with the temp switch selected to warm. On warm do you hear a small buzz coming from the water valve??? Next switch them temp switch to Hot. When you switch it do you hear a slightly different sounding buzz or do you hear silence coming from the water valve???

Post# 970716 , Reply# 7   11/29/2017 at 22:55 (350 days old) by JesseD (Saint Marys, Pennsylvania)        

In both settings I hear a buzz. I believe that the two noises are slightly different. Each setting seems to have its own characteristics.

Post# 970765 , Reply# 8   11/30/2017 at 10:43 (349 days old) by Unimatic1140 (Minneapolis)        

unimatic1140's profile picture
Okay that sounds good Jesse. That means that we're 99% sure that the problem is within the valve itself and not in the electrical wiring or temp switch or valve solenoid.

Back then most valves had two solenoids like today but with one big difference. Vintage valves have two solenoids, one is energized for hot the other is energized for warm. These modern valves also have two solenoids, but one is energized for hot, the other for cold. In the modern valve when warm water is called for both hot and cold valves are energized at the same time.

You can attempt to fix that valve, but you probably will have issues with it.

So if you put a modern valve in you will have a hot wash/cold rinse or cold wash and cold rinse. Obviously most of us prefer a warm wash and warm rinse, but it's a good solution until you find a hot/warm valve.

Now Frigidaire washers fill at a rate of 2.5 gallons per minute. Modern valves will fill with more pressure than that. So what I do is I add a 1/4" water shut-off valve to the fill line before it gets to the fill flume. You then can adjust the fill pressure so it fills to the proper level in four minutes, proper level is overflowing for about 15 seconds before it starts to agitate. You can get these at any hardware store...

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